The Bristol Aero Collection Trust has been awarded a £2 million grant from the LIBOR fund (of fines imposed on banks) to support the creation of the Bristol Aerospace Centre, an aerospace industrial museum and learning centre on Filton’s historic airfield site, one of the birthplaces of British aviation.
The new museum will be located on the Patchway side of the former airfield, close to Hayes Way, the new road which links the A38 Gloucester Road with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.
Lloyd Burnell, Project Director of the Trust said:
“We are absolutely delighted that the Chancellor announced, in his recent budget, the award of £2 million of LIBOR funding for the Bristol Aerospace Centre and are extremely grateful to Jack Lopresti, MP for Bradley Stoke and Filton for his tireless campaigning on our behalf.”
“This exciting new £16 million project, which will also provide a fitting home for Concorde, is already supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, industry partners BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Airbus, and South Gloucestershire Council.”
The Chancellor, George Osborne said:
“In every Budget we have used LIBOR fines paid by those who have demonstrated the worst in values, to support those who represent the very best of British values. Jack Lopresti brought to my attention the proposal for a new museum to commemorate the UK flying heritage at Filton in Bristol. At the Budget I was pleased to announce £2 million for the Bristol Aerospace Centre to help fund this important project to preserve our aviation history.”
Jack Lopresti MP says:
“The £2m from George Osborne for the Bristol Aero Collection Trust is fantastic news and means that the Concorde and aviation museum should actually go ahead. The Bristol Aerospace Centre project is a fitting tribute to Concorde and the rest of our aerospace heritage in Filton; honouring the people who have made such a contribution to Britain’s aerospace industry, and the defence of the realm, for over a century.”
As a part of the exhibitions, Bristol’s long-standing contribution to the UK’s military efforts will be recognised and celebrated at the new Centre: from the Bristol Fighter of World War One through to today’s Airbus A400M Atlas, the first of which was recently named ‘City of Bristol’ by the RAF.
The project’s 9.5 acres airfield site includes two Grade II listed hangars built by the Royal Flying Corp during World War One and have been described by English Heritage as, “a rare surviving example of the earliest standard type of hangar” and “the most complete of any of these types of sites in existence”. They were later home to 501 Squadron which won seven honours in World War Two, and was one of the most heavily engaged units in RAF Fighter Command.
To inspire current and future generations, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning and skills will be at the heart of the Bristol Aerospace Centre, with activities and programmes attracting tens of thousands of school children so vital to address the UK’s forecast shortfall in STEM graduates and apprentices.
Construction work on the Bristol Aerospace Centre is due to start later this year with public opening scheduled in the first half of 2017.
Source: Press release from the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.